For some time we have been discussing how Bathroom Remodeling jobs can run from the simple, new paint and a few updated fixtures, to a complete, “strip to the studs” rebuild of the entire room. Generally, there is a lot of satisfaction to be gained from the simpler, more direct remodeling jobs. A few simple touches can have an incredible amount of effect, and the whole personality of the space can be reformed.
Strip to the Studs is used as the standard of a complete rebuild because the wall studs define the space of the room. If the studs are moved or replaced, the job has pretty much moved beyond remodeling into New Construction.
For good or bad, this is occasionally what the job calls for.
A case in point is the bathroom in this Richmond Beach home where we recently worked.
“As you can see, this is a very nice, if somewhat dated, bathroom. The homeowner was ready for a more up-to-date look, and water damage found in the area brought urgency to the project. We were called in”.
Knowing the extensive nature of the job, the first step of the job is to strip the walls down to the substrate. Substrate comes from the Latin word for “the layer below the surface”. As we can see in this picture, what was below the surface was not that great.
The closer we look, the worse it gets.
Supposedly, the problem of termites doesn’t affect us here in the Pacific Northwest. I even believed it until we started on this job. In this picture we can see termites nesting in the wood of this house.
By the time we got done removing the damaged portions of the exterior walls, you can see that there really was only the memory of a wall left!
What was the culprit in this mess? As nice as the tile work in the old bathroom looked, the construction and finish were poor enough to allow moisture to penetrate the substrate. Water damage, in the form of rot and termite infestation, began to attack the very structure of the house. That type of damage is usually irreversible except through reconstruction.
Fortunately, the homeowner allowed us to not only correct the extensive damage, but to continue on to bring the bathroom to the standards originally envisioned.
Along the way, we made every effort to ensure quality techniques and materials so that this sort of damage won’t be allowed to begin again. Substrate material from WEDI was used so that water is contained within the room, and not allowed to reach the structural members.
Natural stone (slate and travertine) are used in place of the previous ceramic tiles for a more natural feel, and the huge 6′ x 6′ shower pan is lined with flattened river rocks.
Hopefully your bathroom remodeling job will not need to be this extensive, but the crews here at Corvus Construction hope that you will be as happy with the results as this home owner.